Monday, October 17, 2011

Welcome to the witch party!

I finally have my energy back after Saturday's Witch Party (or Witches' Gathering, as we sometimes call it). It was lots of fun, and I can't wait to share some party pictures! Think of this as a virtual party. I'll try to share the Witch Party experience, as if you were here from beginning to end...

First, there is a lot of preparation. The table needs to be set...

Cupcakes need to be made. These are triple chocolate cupcakes with chocolate chips pressed into the tops. They're melty and chewy and perfect for those chocolate fiends out there!

The cupcakes are covered in green buttercream frosting and topped off with little black crows.

These crows were actually made from the little plastic doves that can be found in the wedding aisle at craft stores. We painted each one black and added glitter.

Time to get ready for the party! I've done my makeup, added my false eyelashes (a big fiasco) and donned my leaf covered witch hat.

The pumpkins are also dressed for the party, and sitting on the porch.

Across from the pumpkins, my Ouija Board is displayed. Skeletal hands get in touch with the spirit world! (Otherwise known as salad scoops).

By this point, the sun has almost set. The wind is picking up, and some spookiness is rolling in! I've started the scary sound effects on the porch. So as you approach the door, you will hear frog croaking, cat yowling, and noises from various other creatures.

A cage sits ajar. I wonder who flew out?

Mom prepares the witchy, green brew for our guests. (It's actually Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup.)

She has probably used a secret ingredient from our potion and poison bottles

The guests begin to arrive! One of them is my friend Stacey. She notices that she and I have the exact same hat on, aside from my leaf garland. This isn't the first time we've worn matching outfits/accessories. Stacey remarks, "This doesn't even surprise me anymore."

Stacey was nice enough to bring witch hat buttons for all the party guests. She sells these 3" buttons in her Etsy shop: Stacey's Expressive Buttons

The guests are ready to eat! The Mannheim Steamroller Halloween mix is playing and we all shuffle in to the table.

A bouquet of orange roses sits in the center of the table.

Uh oh. It looks like a spider has discovered the bouquet! Actually, that's a spider ring I managed to fit between the rose petals.

A little crow donning a witch hat sits on each guest's plate. The crows hold place cards that display everyone's Halloween themed nickname. We started using these nicknames 11 years ago for the first party. We were inspired by the Simpsons Halloween Specials. You know how in the credits each of the artists, writers, producers etc. has their name listed in some spooky way? (Matt "Hell" Goering, for example)

We sit down to eat dinner and pass around the Focaccia bread we made earlier.

It's cupcake time! Mom brings in the tray...

After cupcakes, we have some candy from our treat bags. Remember those Pirate Choppers? Those were in there. Although, Stacey didn't want hers after reading my blog post about them... The Choppers are actually quite good. They're kind of fruity. Here are a few of the other body parts included in the gift bags:

The sky is now completely dark. It is getting to be quite late and some of the guests are leaving.

Stacey stays on a little while longer for some time with the Ouija Board! We bring it in from the front porch and get ready to contact the spirit world...

For those of you who are wondering, Stacey and I did have an interesting experience with the Ouija Board. We tried three different times to contact a spirit, and each time were told different information. Such as gender, age, date of death, etc. Although, every time after about 10 minutes, the planchette would end up circling slowly around the board. All three times, the word "MAZAZ" was spelled out. Also it went back and forth from N-Z a lot. It was kind of repetitive and weird, so we just gave it a rest. I just googled "Mazaz" to see if it was an actual word or a name, and found this:

Someone else's Mazaz Ouija Board experience


OK, moving on...

I took a few pictures of my false eyelashes before getting ready for bed. I guess I wanted credit for managing to keep them on all night! I won't bore you too much with the challenges of false eyelashes. Suffice it to say, I went through three bottles of glue. Two were so dried up that a putty like substance shot out and the third tube basically exploded all over the sink! This all happened after having only one eye done. So... yeah, I was proud to get these on and keep them on!

I assembled some of the presents our guests brought over, and wanted to share a few of them. Check out these metal salad scoops! They're a bit of an upgrade from the plastic ones on our porch display.

Here are a few more presents from our guests:

These foil wrapped chocolates came out of the little kitty purse above. They're filled with a chocolate and caramel mixture like Cadbury Creme Eggs!

One more thing! We figured out a use for the cauldron and candy bucket we found at the estate sale. Don't these make lovely vases?

I thought they made fine decorations for the party. Also, that estate sale pumpkin/skull got a party hat! The hat was a gift from Stacey last year, and I think it's a great fit.

Can you imagine if all of us in blog land had a Halloween party? I bet that would be entertaining! I know we all live in different states, and in some cases, different countries. So, we can't have an actual in-person party. Still, we could have a virtual one!

If you have a photo of yourself in a favorite Halloween costume, and are willing to email it to me, I'll include it in a "virtual party" blog post later this month.

I don't care how old your costumed photo is. It could be recent, or a picture from childhood. Just so long as you are dressed up, I'll include your photo along with a link to your blog. 

Any reader of this blog is welcome to send their photo to my email address:

Hopefully, I'll see some of you at my virtual Halloween party!


  1. Wow, when you throw a witch party you don't mess around!

  2. Your party looks fabulous. I love the cupcakes with the crows. What an awesome idea to paint the doves. I'll have to dress up and have my pic taken for the virtual party. Sounds like fun.

    Your Ouija board experience sounds pretty spooky

  3. WOAH! This party looks so freaking fun! I'd love to have been a guest! I adore every single decoration down to the smallest detail. You and your mum must be the best witch party hosts around!

    The cauldron makes such an excellent vase! I'd have that baby out all year round!

    I love the place names for each guest, such a fab idea!

    The metal salad scoops are out of this world! I've never seen anything like them! If I do ever visit America around Hallowe'en I'd have to take an extra suit case just to fit in all the Hallowe'en themed items I'd buy!

    That is really creepy and bizarre about the Mazaz thing! I wonder what it means?!

    You look beautiful Justine. Your outfit is so very witchy and pretty! False lashes can be such a pain in the butt to apply! I'd recommend getting your hands on some Duo Lash Adhesive, it's what I use and nothing else! Also applying lashes with a tweezer is so much easier and more precise, no fumbling fingers!

    I have received my print! I completely forgot to email you about it! I love it! I will be on a mission to find the perfect frame for it when I come back from visiting mum, something black and decorative I'm thinking! Say thanks to your cauldron fro choosing me!

    I just spotted the witch hat tea light holder amongst your presents from the guests, I have one almost exactly like it! Weeeee whimsical magical Hallowe'en!

    Can't wait! xxx

  4. Wow! The party looked fabulous! Love the table setting. And your hat!

  5. Looks like a fabulous party! I love the little crows with their hats!

  6. You look gorgeous in the photos! Love the lashes!

    The witchy party looks so amazing!! I love the little raven cupcake toppers and pretty much every other single thing about it!

    What a great Halloween event! :)

  7. Oh, wow! No wonder you were exhausted. Your party looked fabulous. When I saw how long the post was, I went and made myself a cup of coffee so that I could just relax for a few minutes and take it all in. Of course, I could have done with one of your triple chocolate cupcakes to go with that coffee. You had me drooling over those!

    The table setting and decorations were just lovely, and like VainGlorySinner, I'm very impressed with the salad scoops, both plastic and metal!!

    You looked absolutely gorgeous! You were really channelling Nicole Kidman, in 'Practical Magic'!! The eyelashes sound like a nightmare, but they looked great in the end. Your Mum looks adorable, too! What a cool mother to get up to all these shenanigans with you each year!

    Thanks for sharing the party with us!!!

  8. WOW what a party! Well done with the decorations. Glad to see it's a family affair with you too.

    I couldn't help but notice that your napkins inclined that I was approaching your party.... ;)

    A blogger party would be the coolest thing ever. Sign me up for the virtual party. Check is in the mail.

  9. Raymond ~ Haha! That is so true. Halloween is a little extreme around here. It's just so fun to decorate, bake, and dress up, that we get carried away!

    Vivienne ~ Thanks! Yeah, I was really happy with how those cupcakes turned out. We were feeling quite innovative after painting those wedding doves black! I think the glitter really added a lot.

    Wonderful! I'm glad that at least one person is up for the virtual party! I can't wait to see the costumed picture you send.

    Yes, the Ouija Board experience was pretty spooky. As we were playing with the board, it just felt uneventful. The spooky part for me came in with googling MAZAZ. I actually got goosebumps when I read that someone else had that spelled out. Not to mention the N-Z they also received. It's like there's one bored spirit out there answering the call of everyone's Ouija Board. :)

    Vain Glory Sinner ~ Thank you so much! It would have been awesome to have you here. I know you would have really dressed for the occasion. By the way, I hope you participate in my virtual Halloween party. I'm sure you have plenty of awesome costume photos to choose from! Actually, your profile picture would work great.

    Yes, I completely agree that you must bring an empty suitcase if you visit America. I bet you would go on an insane shopping spree if you visited during this season! I believe the metal salad scoopers are a new product. The day after the party, I saw them featured in an article about Halloween products in our local newspaper.

    I wonder what MAZAZ means too. One suggestion I saw was that it could be referring to a province in Armenia. That might explain why our spirit was giving us such jumbled messages. It might have had English as a second language. :) I also ran across some people who had Mazaz as a last name. So it's either a name or a place.

    Thanks so much for your compliments! Yes, false lashes are a pain! If they didn't look so good, I would not be putting that much effort into them. Not like I knew how much effort they would take when I started... Thank you for the tip. I will definitely look for that glue some time before the end of this month. I'll probably want to sport some lashes for an end of the month party!

    Wonderful! I'm so glad that your print arrived. I was wondering about that! Please send or post a pic of it framed. I'd love to see the final product.

    That's cool that you have our same tea light holder! I thought that was such a nice gift. I haven't had a chance to light it up yet. "whimsical magical Hallowe'en" is right! :)

  10. Holy Hell! Brilliant show, Justine! Absolutely brilliant. Look at all the touches and details.

    I'm always thrilled to see hosts go to such great lengths to set the stage and build an atmosphere that's fun for all. And you've certainly made it happen. Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. I'm writing my replies in clumps, because sometimes Blogger cuts me off when I write too much at once!

    Halloween Spirit ~ Thank you! It's fun to share these pictures with you guys. I had a lot of fun with my leafy hat. It's a nice, lightweight Halloween accessory! I imagine that those garlands are mostly around other people's centerpieces or windows. :)

    Jessica ~ The party was tons of fun! I think the little hats added a lot to the crows too. It gave them kind of a Mother Goose look. At least that's how I remember Mother Goose from the old illustrations.

    Spooky Vegan ~ Thanks so much. :) I had fun wearing the lashes, even if they were a bear to get on, and I could only see out of half my eyes. I think that was because of all the silver glittery stuff between the lashes. If I looked down, I was seeing pretty well anyway...

    I'm glad you enjoyed the virtual party experience! :) I love to read all of your feedback.

    Little Gothic Horrors ~ Haha! I got a serious laugh out of you getting some coffee to drink while you read this never ending post! I know this one was a little extreme... According to Blogger, I uploaded 40 pictures for this post. Can that really be? This one was like a short story or something!

    Yes, we had good reason to be exhausted. I seriously slept in on Sunday and then napped throughout the day! Not to add to your suffering, but those cupcakes turned out really well! If you ever need the recipe, I'm happy to pass it along...

    I think those salad scoopers are so handy. I just noticed that pun. Um... No, but they really are useful decorations. Right now, the plastic ones are reaching out of a leaf bouquet.

    Thank you for the compliments! Any day I'm being compared to Nicole Kidman, is a good day. :) Yeah, I love that picture of mom with the cupcakes. I am lucky to have a mom who is so up for Halloween celebrations. October is pretty much a month full of activities for us!

    I enjoyed sharing the party with you. :)

    wicKED ~ Thank you! Yes, it is a total family affair, and also a friend affair! It's so awesome to be surrounded by other Halloween obsessed people.

    I actually thought of you while buying the napkins! I think the napkin manufacturer was afraid of committing copyright infringement, though. The phrase is slightly changed... Oh well. We know what they were really getting at there. :) It was surprisingly difficult to find napkins with crows on them! I really loved the skeletal hand on these too.

    Awesome! I can't wait to see the photo you send me. I bet it will be fantastically scary. I hope lots of people will want to take part in this!

  12. King Unicorn ~ We must have been writing at the same time, because I just saw your comment!

    Haha! "Holy Hell" hey? :) Thanks so much for your comments and compliments! I'm glad that you enjoyed all the details. I actually thought of you while putting this post together, because of your ongoing witch display. I want to see some pictures of that, by the way...

  13. Why, hello thar leaf covered witch hat.

  14. Mantan ~ Haha! Why hello to you hat man! :)

  15. Justine, you make an adorable witch! Your party looks like so much fun! I wish I could join you ghouls :) I just LOVE the witch hat crows! That was a really great idea. I know how you feel about fake eyelashes. I went through the glue thing last year. It was EVERYWHERE!!! lol Glad that you finally got them on =)
    One day, I'll plan far enough in advance to have my own witchy party =) Thank you for sharing the pictures!

  16. Thank you! :) I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. The party was a blast! It's something we always look forward to. Yeah, those hats turned the crows from eerie to adorable! I think the crows have more personality this way.

    Haha! I got a laugh out of "I went through the glue thing last year." Yeah, it certainly is an ordeal! I don't even know how the glue busted out of the tube like that. It was jet propelled! I was relieved to get that second set of lashes on. I didn't want to look like I was in A Clockwork Orange or something. :)

    If you ever have a Witch Party, I want to see some pictures! I have to wonder if anyone else does this...

  17. Great post! very eerie about the Ouija board, yet very cool at the same time. that mazaz must be something spirits do quite often.

    thanks for sharing my button:-)

    oh! and i love the pic of us looking at our shoes:-)

  18. Thanks Stacey! Yeah, isn't that Ouija Board info interesting? That was just the right amount of scary for me. It's a little spooky story to share, without things flying off the walls or anything. :)

    I'm not sure what the meaning of MAZAZ is. It's probably a name or a place. I hadn't thought of multiple spirits spelling that word. I figured there was just one lonely spirit out there!

    I love that picture too! It isn't often that we have our picture taken while we're looking down. That gives a great view of our hats!

  19. What an amazing looking party! Stunning little details. I wish I'd been there :) (or have the patience to plan such a great looking party)

  20. By the way, I have an award for you over at my blog

    It's near the bottom.

  21. I love it, a witch party! Everything looked great from the decorations, food, those chocolate cupcakes, to the cool hats.

  22. Your party looks wicked (pun intended!) fun. I so wish I could have been there! Halloween is less than two weeks away...we can't wait. ;)

  23. Mrs. Munster ~ Thanks! Yeah, we were really happy with how the night turned out. The party preparation did take patience at times. Gluing and glittering little things can get tedious! I still think the results are worth the effort, though. Hey ~ Do you still have a blog? I wanted to take a look at it, but I can't find it!

    wicKED ~ Thanks for the award! I'll have to go take a look...

    Adsila ~ Thank you. :) I'm glad you enjoyed looking through these photos. It's extra fun to share the party with other Halloween/paranormal people!

    Marisa ~ Hey there! How are you doing? Haha, Yeah it was a wicked bunch of fun! It would have been great to have you here. I'd like to be able to share how the house looks with you. Well, at least we have the internet, so you can kind of be here. :) I bet you're looking forward to Halloween! For two reasons... Do you have plans for your special birthday? And do you have a costume planned for Tony?

  24. Oh, wow! You are too adorable! So cute!

    I love that you have been having your witch party for so long. That is a fantastic Halloween tradition!

    Those sparkly crows? Those are fantastic. At first I thought you managed to make them of sugar like sugar skulls or something. They look really great.

    So much of this is incredible, I simply must read it again.

  25. Aww... Thank you! :)

    Yes, it is a great Halloween tradition! I love having traditions for all the holidays - it just makes them even more special. I wonder how many of these parties we will have. I couldn't believe it when we hit the 10 year mark last year!

    Thanks! I loved the sparkle on the crows too. Glitter improves everything. :) I wish they were edible, although I was glad we were able to figure out any way to get little crows on the cupcakes. One of the guests actually told another guest that the birds were edible! Luckily, she didn't bite down on the bird. A person could break a tooth on one of those! Funny enough, a few people did recognize them as the wedding doves they originally were.

    Cool! Maybe you'll see more details the second time around. I realize that I packed a lot into this post!

  26. Ooh, I'd love the recipe for the cupcakes, but I'd probably have to convert the quantities. We use metric measurements here and our cup/teaspoon, etc. sizes are different to yours. (Nothing's easy in the quest for chocolate, is it?!)

    Also, I meant to say that I would have been up for the virtual Halloween party, but sadly, I don't have any photos of me in Halloween costumes whatsoever! I wore costumes a couple of times as a kid, but I don't think there's any photographic evidence of it. Not that it was Halloweeny, but I wore an amazing "I Dream of Jeannie" costume to a primary school dance when I was about 7. My Mum did an incredible job creating it, yet didn't take any photos. Crazy! I'll have to ask her about that!! I'm sure she'll say she was too busy raising a family to remember to take photos. Sigh.

    The only costume picture that I think I have is me as a child wearing a nurse costume. Which is pretty ironic, because I doubt that there's anybody on the planet less suited to being a nurse than me!! The costume was probably a gift from a relative, so Mum felt obliged to photograph me in it. Haha!

    The only adult photo is one from London, for a groovy '60s/'70's party... again... not Halloweeny at all!!

    Oh well, I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the party guests. Perhaps I could be a ghost... then I could get away with being invisible! Haha.

  27. Well, I've never tried converting measurements for a recipe, but I'm sure that it's doable. There are probably lots of web sites to help. Sometimes I wish America had gone on board with the metric system. Nothing is easy in the quest for chocolate? Haha! Well, you can always buy a candy bar if you want easy. :)

    Aww... The "I Dream of Jeannie" costume sounds so cute! It's too bad that there aren't any pictures of it. I'd say that the 60s/70s costume is plenty Halloweeny! I wore a hippie costume for Halloween in 8th grade. If you're comfortable, send that photo to me! Or make a new costume... So far only one party guest has sent me a photo! So, we're waiting for more of you to arrive. :) Ha! The only way you're getting away with the ghost idea is if you send me a picture of yourself wearing a sheet with eyes cut out.

  28. This is totally fabulous! I loved the pic of your Mom! What a beautiful lady!

    I know you girls had a ball and I wish I could have been there!


  29. Thank you! :) I'll pass that message on to Mom! I wish you could have been here too. I'm sure you would have added a lot to the party and worn a fantastic hat. You can still be a part of my virtual blog party, though. I bet you have lots of cute, costumed photos to choose from!

  30. Wooowww!! The party looks like it was so amazing. I'd love to go to a witch party. Everything looks amazing! You looked beautiful & so did your Mom & friend. I wish I was there! What would my witch name be?

    The cupcakes looked yuuuummm. Mail me one!

  31. Thanks for the compliments on our pictures and the party! :) I'm sure it would have been fun to have you there. Hmm... Your witch name... Real Queen of the Witches? Haha!

    Oh, those cupcakes are looong gone. I was wishing I had one tonight too. I might have to bake another batch before Halloween!

  32. Lol. I love the name! ^_^ Thank you. I say bake it so you can enjoy & think of me when you're baking!

  33. Just wanted you to know that here in the run-up to Independence Day, it is 4 in the morning and I've been up all night planning my witch party. Because I was never able to get yours out of my head.

    All year I've been thinking "must buy crows!" and couldn't remember why! Well, they are in stores again. And I shall make them little witch hats.

    Still love this post so very much.

  34. Pensive ~ Aww! Thanks so much! :) I'm glad that these photos left such an impression on you. Wow, 4:00 in the morning? You're determined!

    It's so funny that you mention the crows, because just yesterday I saw some in a craft store. I was actually thinking about how people probably still associate me with Dollar Tree crows! I was pretty much obsessed with them. Sounds like my suspicion is correct. :)

    Hurry up and get the good crows, because they go fast. A few weeks after they were on the Dollar Tree shelves, all that was left were the molted ones with chipped beaks! If you need any help with the hat making, let me know. That can get a little tedious.

    I'm so glad that you liked this post! I only wish that all of you lived nearby so you could take part in the parties. I guess sharing the experience online is the second best thing! I can't wait to see some photos from your party.

  35. Hi Justine! I just wanted to drop in and tell you that I'm finally taking your inspiration and having my own Witch Party :) Actually, it's a Witch's Tea! I'm super exicted and I can't wait to share our party experience like you have :) I'll also be looking forward to your 2012 Witch Party post :)

  36. Countess ~ That's awesome! :) I can't wait to hear more about your Witch's Tea. I hope to see lots of pictures from your party! Plans are in the works now for our party this year. I better get started with these plans, because October will be here before we know it!